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‘Natural performer’: Taos Pueblo flutist Robert Mirabal to play livestreamed show as part of NM Tech series

Taos Pueblo musician Robert Mirabal will perform a livestreamed concert as part of New Mexico Tech’s Performing Arts Series. (Courtesy of New Mexico Tech)

Taos Pueblo’s Robert Mirabal has carved out a niche for himself in music.

The flute player and maker is a Grammy winner who continues to create music that matters.

Mirabal will perform a livestreamed concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, from the Macey Center at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro.

This will be Mirabal’s fourth performance with the Performing Arts Series.

“Robert is just a natural performer, so he’s always special,” says Ronna Kalish, NMTPAS director.

PAS members will get a chance to speak with him through Zoom after the show; visit nmt.edu/pas for more information.

Mirabal is dedicating this show, the song, stories and dances to “our pueblo grandmothers, who survived the good along with bad and whatever life threw at them.”

He will bring with him two traditional dancers – Evan and Marcus Trujillo, as well as the Mirabal vocalist sisters – Aspen, Kona and Masa.

Mirabal began making flutes at age 19 and learned how to play a variety of instruments in school.

He was inspired by the renowned Native American flute player R. Carlos Nakai, whom he met as a young man.

Mirabal was twice named the Native American Music Awards’ Artist of the Year, and received the Songwriter of the Year award three times.

Robert has performed in Socorro several times, the first as part of the launching of the PBS program “Music From a Painted Cave.”

“That was one of the few shows where we actually made a little bit of money; people came from all over the state. It was a great show. We had booked early, and it got really big, and they still honored our contract,” she recalls.

Years later, Kalish secured a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in an experimental collaboration with Dancing Earth.

“The artistic director of Dancing Earth, Rulan Tangen, had been to Socorro many times with NDI, and I had always wanted to have Robert and Rulan work together in Socorro” Kalish recalls. “And they both told me they wanted to do the same, so it seemed like a natural combination.”

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